National movement and II World War

The II World War had changed the entire picture of the world. The old imperialist countries –Britain, France, Holland and others had been weakened by the war. They were no longer powerful enough to withstand the onward march of the nationalist movement. Britain was no longer the world power it had been for centuries and her supremacy was gone for good. The war had destroyed fascism and imperialism received heavy blows. In Britain the Conservative Party which was opposed to the demand for the independence of India lost heavily in the elections. The war time Prime Minister Winston Churcill was no longer the Prime Minister. There were many people in the Labour Party which had come to power under the leadership of Attlee who were opposed to the continuation of British rule over India. Conditions were ripe for the end of imperialism in India.

In India the resentment against British rule was very high. The British government had shown callous indifference to the famine –stricken people during the terrible famine that had raged in Bengal in 1943 in which three million people died. At the end of the war this resentment broke out in dealing a final blow to foreign rule. In November 1945 three officers of the Indian National Army were tried at the Red Fort in Delhi. They were charged with the crime of conspiring against the British Empire. They were defended by top Indian barristers. But they were sentenced to transportation for life. The sentences which were later revoked provoked widespread popular upsurge all over the country. The armed forces were also affected.